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Old 16-03-2014, 15:20   #1
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Sea Brake

I am seriously considering buying a Sea Brake. I have a Lagoon 420 catamaran and am planning on ocean crossings. My questions are these:

Does anyone have any actual experience using a Sea Brake in heavy weather? If so, I would like to hear about your experience. I have searched the forum and did not see a discussion of actual use of the Sea Brake.

Secondly, I read on one of the threads that Sea Brake lost their SOLAS approval in 2004. Is this true? If so, why? And does it matter?

Thanks so much for any responses.
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Old 17-03-2014, 11:20   #2
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Re: Sea Brake

I see 75 have viewed, but no replies yet. Has anyone used the Sea Brake in heavy weather? If no replies, I guess I'll go ahead and purchase one.

Thanks.
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Old 17-03-2014, 11:29   #3
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Re: Sea Brake

Have you considered a Jordan series drogue? There are some issues with the sea brake the JDS covers beautifully. It's regarded as the best solution for a drogue, the following report by the USCG explains a lot:

http://www.jordanseriesdrogue.com/pd...uardreport.pdf
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Old 17-03-2014, 20:55   #4
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Re: Sea Brake

I read the article, but did not see the Sea Brake mentioned specifically. I do not doubt that the Jordan Series Drogue is excellent. But, exactly what are the problems with Sea Brake. I'm having a hard time finding any specific information.
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Old 17-03-2014, 21:53   #5
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Re: Sea Brake

I was familiar with them back in the 80s. We tested one for emergency steering an an Express 35 on SF Bay, not great results. If completely open during use as a drogue, it has been reported to work (by the original inventor).
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Old 17-03-2014, 23:00   #6
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Re: Sea Brake

The book 'Heavy Weather Sailing' by Adlard Coles' has a chapter where they publish the results of tests of various drogue systems. Sea-brake is one of them. I just took a quick look again and the key in using a sea-brake system seems to be to use chain in front of the drogue.
If you are interested in the different systems available this book might be a good purchase. An excellent book anyway for anybody who might encounter heavy seas.
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Old 17-03-2014, 23:23   #7
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Re: Sea Brake

BLC7, Im somewhat in your shoes and have spent quite some time assessing the type of drogue I'd need for blue water. While there is limited info in this CF, I have spoken to three cat captains who have actually used drogues in storm conditions and this formed my opinion - its not conclusive - everyone has an opinion! My conclusion is that you can use a nr of systems from elaborate JSD's to sea brakes to just tossing a long line off the stern with a few tires - they all serve to slow your cat down - but do ensure the integrity of what you decide upon. I have a L450 and have just purchaseed a Hathaway 48" drogue (Gale rider) and in the next few months will trial it with/without a pre-chain, rope lengths, etc. I'll provide a posting of this when completed. - to late for your purchase but Im sure the sea brake will serve its purpose for you.

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Old 18-03-2014, 01:46   #8
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Re: Sea Brake

Its a single.cone device. All those things have some issues that simply can't be overcome.by any ammount of fanciness or promises by the inventor. I'm not saying they outright don't work, but there is not one that has come out of independant testing with flying colours (or that doesn't have horror stories).

There are massive loads on the one cone making it prone to breaking. I for one also have questions about the fast/slow mechanic of the sea-brake. The fact tbat its only one cone means it can come out of the water between wavetops in bad conditions and propel the boat forward at great speeds. It also means that the boat will constantly accelerate and stop again causing huge peek strains on the gear and friction in the rope. It will spin like mad, no matter what swivel you use. You can't adjust it to the conditions, etc etc.

Advantages are its smaller to pack.

If you do a lot of reading everywhere online you'll find that the JSD covers all issues a single cone device might have without adding any at all. You'll find hundreds of amazing stories from all kinds of sources. You'll find backing by the USCG and many other well respected organisations and companies and apart from cones fraying and issues with the type of rope used (both easily fixed/prevented) you'll not find a single horrorstory.

My point is you should probably do your research properly before you decide on this. I spent many, many hours researching this, and I value my drogue before any other safety equipment I have. It is something you must be able to trust your life to. I couldn't trust that to anything but the JDS after my reading. Simply not enkugh solid backing for all the others, too many questilns and too many horror stories.
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Old 19-03-2014, 12:22   #9
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Re: Sea Brake

Bic 7,

If you haven't already, I recommend you pick up a copy of the Drag Device Data Base by Victor Shane. It is a fascinating read and,if I recall, there are some accounts of Seabrake deployments there.
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Old 04-06-2014, 06:39   #10
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Re: Sea Brake

I have used one. The older plastic type. Worked well on my mono, slowing her down and letting us go passive for the night and get some sleep. Given the low price and small storage space the modern canvas ones take up, I would say having one (or more, for a multi element drogue) aboard is a no brainer for any offshore boat. Esp a multihull.

A mate made a small stainless steel one for his tri. He admitted that he often used it even in moderate conditions downwind to tame the boat and help the autopilot cope. Plenty of times you want control without stopping the boat like a series drogue will do.

Make sure you DON'T use nylon for the warp. Mouse All shackles and have a long length of chain ahead of at least 100 meters of warp to stop it leaping out of the water... I didnt do these things on another boat and had the drogue and chain leaping 20 meters ahead and then catching the water again after we had started surfing. This put horrific loads on the boat and was very dangerous. It was not a nice night...

By all accounts the new canvas ones work as well as my plastic one with obvous advantages.

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Old 04-06-2014, 07:59   #11
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Re: Sea Brake

Used a Seabrake once to delay arival until dawn (25-30 knots). Worked fine.

If you go to my blog and search "drogue" or "seabrake" you will find a long post comparing the drag of different devises I tested on flat water. It was a fun project. But so far I have avoided survival conditions where it would be truly tested.
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Old 04-06-2014, 08:20   #12
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Re: Sea Brake

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikereed100 View Post
Bic 7,

If you haven't already, I recommend you pick up a copy of the Drag Device Data Base by Victor Shane. It is a fascinating read and,if I recall, there are some accounts of Seabrake deployments there.
Absolutely endorse that, really really interesting first hand accounts
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